Your responsibility to protect sewer assets
Many property owners in Moree Plains have easements, utility pipes or pipe protection envelopes running through their properties. A pipe protection envelope is the area of unhindered space required to ensure safe access to a Moree Plains Shire Council water asset.
Easements, utility pipes and pipe protection envelopes are protected by Government legislation (law) in recognition of the essential function water and sewerage services play in urban communities and the environment. Moree Plains Shire Council has a legislative obligation to protect these assets and to establish rules of how, when and where protection is required.
If you have a sewer manhole on your property, you must not obstruct access to it. The purpose of the manhole is to allow access to the Council sewer mains. A manhole is identified as a concrete cover and surround approximately 850 - 900mm in diameter and finished at ground level. The manhole should have one metre clearance around it to allow for inspection and maintenance. Do not build anything over the manhole or allow it to be covered with soil and grass as this is also an offence under the Local Government Act 1993.
Sewer Easement – plants and buildings
In areas where plantings other than lawns or grass are appropriate (horticultural plantings, bushland, restoration sites etc.), plants should be chosen that are not root invasive to sewer lines. To allow machinery access (should a break in a sewer develop), a 6m easement through currently unplanted bush regenerated areas is required. Although these areas can be planted, the property owner should be aware that at some time in the future, these easements may be accessed for sewer maintenance and that could lead to considerable disturbance to plantings.
The protocols are intended to ensure that:
- underground pipes are not damaged by the weight of buildings or landscape features (such as earth fill or retaining walls)
- emergency and planned maintenance access is always available to buried pipes and related structures (such as tanks, manholes, pits, valves, meters and pumps). As a general rule, 1 metre clearance is required around all water and sewerage assets
- homes, buildings and landscape structures are not undermined or damaged by burst water mains, sewer main collapse or by Moree Plains Shire Council maintenance and construction activities